Global Alert and Response (GAR)

Ebola in West Africa: 12-months on

WHO Director-General Dr Chan shaking hands with Rebecca Johnson, nurse, Ebola survivor, Sierra Leone 2014
UNMEER/Martine Perret

15 January 2014 -- One year after the first Ebola cases started to surface in Guinea, WHO is publishing this series of 14 papers that take an in-depth look at West Africa’s first epidemic of Ebola virus disease. The papers explore reasons why the disease evaded detection for several months and the factors, many specific to West Africa, that fueled its subsequent spread.

Stories of Ebola survivors

WHO Ebola expert patient trainer Austin S. Jallah. Margibi County, Liberia, 2014.
WHO/P Desloovere

23 December 2014 -- Although Ebola is a severe, often fatal disease, getting medical care early can make a significant difference. Today, about 1 out of 3 Ebola patients survive. Many of them are now using their experience to help fight the disease in their community. Here are their stories.

Liberia: Local students become active Ebola case finders

T. Harrison joined team of active Ebola case finders to go from house to house to find out if sick people are being treated, Libera
WHO/P. Desloover

19 December 2014 -- Ever since the closure of the university due to the Ebola outbreak, Tony Harrison, sociology student at the University of Liberia, has been trying to help stop the spread of the Ebola virus in his country. He joined the team of active case finders to go from house to house to find out if sick people are being treated.

Preparing to confront Ebola – just in case

WHO officer training Ebola health workers on how to safely operate in personal protective equipment. Sierra Leone, 2014.
WHO/N. Alexander

15 December 2014 -- Countries in Africa have been working on improving their preparedness in the event of an Ebola outbreak. The WHO teams have provided simulated exercises in hospitals and technical trainings on immediate emergency response and communication, on infection prevention and control, safe burials, and other components of response. The Ebola outbreaks and response in Nigeria and Senegal showed that the disease can be stopped if a country is adequately prepared from the start.

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Our vision

An integrated global alert and response system for epidemics and other public health emergencies based on strong national public health systems and capacity and an effective international system for coordinated response.


Core functions

  • Support Member States for the implementation of national capacities for epidemic preparedness and response in the context of the IHR(2005), including laboratory capacities and early warning alert and response systems;
  • Support national and international training programmes for epidemic preparedness and response;
  • Coordinate and support Member States for pandemic and seasonal influenza preparedness and response;
  • Develop standardized approaches for readiness and response to major epidemic-prone diseases (e.g. meningitis, yellow fever, plague);
  • Strengthen biosafety, biosecurity and readiness for outbreaks of dangerous and emerging pathogens outbreaks (e.g. SARS, viral haemorrhagic fevers); Maintain and further develop a global operational platform to support outbreak response and support regional offices in implementation at regional level.

Latest publications

Website for Information and Communication Technologies for Public Health Emergency Management launched


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Highlights

Global Infection Prevention and Control Network (GIPC Network) Launch

WHO Unit on Disease Control in Humanitarian Emergencies - DCE

Natural ventilation design project website launched

Communicable disease alert and response for mass gatherings